Errol Spence Jr won’t be fighting Terence Crawford next, which everyone knows, and now the WBC have pulled the trigger on a rumored move, ordering Spence to face Keith Thurman next.
Spence (28-0, 22 KO) and Thurman (30-1, 22 KO) are both Premier Boxing Champions fighters, so in theory this is an easy fight to get done, but this is one where personal issues may take the role of political obstruction, possibly getting in the way.
Spence, 32, has said for years now, and repeatedly, that he has no interest in fighting Thurman, 33, after Thurman declined to give Spence a title fight back when “One Time” held a belt at 147 and Spence was on the way up the ranks.
That can be soothed — mainly, by money — but Spence has also indicated he may be ready to move up in weight, too, and he could simply vacate the WBC belt and still have the WBA and IBF titles in his possession. With “undisputed” no closer now than before after lengthy and ultimately failed talks with Crawford, it may be worth wondering if Spence actually cares about carrying around all three belts.
More from the WBC convention
- Deontay Wilder vs Andy Ruiz Jr ordered at heavyweight
- Haney vs Lomachenko expect, Shakur Stevenson vs Isaac Cruz eliminator ordered
That said, it’s also pretty clearly the biggest money fight available in the division other than Spence vs Crawford. Thurman may not be at the peak of his marketing powers or anything, but he has name value still, just the one loss to Manny Pacquiao, and he looked sharp in his last bout, a decision win over Mario Barrios in February, which was Thurman’s first fight since that 2019 fight with Pacquiao.
Spence is coming off of an April win over Yordenis Ugas, where he added the WBA belt to his collection.
While the order is no guarantee, it’s also perhaps the only way this fight even has a chance of happening. If Spence doesn’t fight Thurman next, the in-house cupboard has gone fairly bare at PBC in the welterweight division — there are fighters, yes, but Eimantas Stanionis, for instance, would probably be next in line, and he may be higher-risk, lower-reward than Thurman at this stage of their respective careers.
Do you think we’ll get Spence vs Thurman? If we do, does Thurman have a real shot at victory anymore?